Some guys hit for power while others hit for contact. You can make a pretty good living doing either, if you know when to swing. The same goes for MLB moneylines and runlines.
Some baseball teams are making the most out of the moneyline, stacking the units on MLB’s straight up odds. Others have benefited the best from the runline, baseball’s version of the pointspread, with 1.5 runs set as the norm.
We take a look at four teams and explain why they’ve been better to the bettors on either the moneyline or the runline.
Tampa Bay Rays (12-14)
Moneyline: -5.78 units
The Rays were supposed to be contending for the American League East lead at this point in the season, but inconsistent efforts at the plate and a struggling ace have dealt moneyline bettors some big loss. Tampa Bay is 1-5 SU in David Price’s six starts, burning -6.67 units alone.
However, when the Rays do win, they win big and cover the runline with ease, posting an average margin of victory of four runs in its 12 wins. Tampa Bay is current in the midst of a 10-game road trip and is presenting solid value on the runline as the visitor.
Pittsburgh Pirates (16-12)
Moneyline: +7.47 units
Runline: +.75 units
The Pirates finished April with a bang, going 6-4 SU in their final 10 games. Pittsburgh didn’t build that record against cupcakes either, taking wins over the Braves, Phillies, Cardinals and Reds last month. Those upset wins meant big moneyline payouts, with the Bucs set as high as +185. Pittsburgh has also been a great bet at home, posting an 8-4 record at PNC Park.
Sizing up its runline potential at home, the Pirates have outscored visitors by just 1.25 runs per game. On the road, they been outscored 72-57 but that’s an average of just one run per away game. With a five-game home stand starting Friday (vs. Washington and Seattle), the Bucs look to be a solid moneyline play but a shaky runline risk.
Detroit Tigers (15-11)
Moneyline: -.91 units
Runline: +4.29 units
Expectations were high for the Tigers entering 2013, as were their moneyline odds. A slow start to the year quickly buried bettors in red ink and has left Detroit digging itself out of that hole ever since, despite a winning record. The team has lost three of Justin Verlander’s first six starts, boasting -2.26 units when its ace has taken the mound.
There is more value giving the 1.5 runs on Detroit’s games. The Tigers have won five straight heading into Wednesday but that’s equaled only $314.42 for $100 moneyline bettors. Runline fans betting $100 have earned $370.25 on those games, even with Detroit failing to cover the 1.5-run spread in a 4-3 win over Minnesota Monday.
Milwaukee Brewers (14-12)
Moneyline: +.95 units
Runline: -3.05 units
The Brewers have sprung to life as the calendar flips to May, winning 12 of their last 15 games heading into Wednesday. Milwaukee was able to gain some momentum against a softer schedule, which featured San Diego, Chicago and Pittsburgh. The Brew Crew were moneyline favorites in 11 of those 15 contests, including each outing of a three-game home set versus San Francisco.
Miller Park has been kind to Milwaukee so far. The Brewers are 9-5 as hosts, including back-to-back wins over the Pirates to open a nine-game home stand which also welcomes the Cardinals and Rangers. But while the SU wager has been safe at the beer gardens, Milwaukee is outscoring opponents 79-71 in its 14 home games – an average of just 0.57 runs per contest.